The General Lighthouse Authorities for the United Kingdom and Ireland (GLAs) are the organisations responsible for the superintendence and management of Aids to Marine Navigation around the coastline of the UK and Republic of Ireland, including the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and their adjacent seas and islands.
The GLA’s prime concern has always been the safety of shipping and the well-being of seafarers in some of the busiest sea-lanes in the world. Part of their role is to process and calculate light dues levied on commercial shipping as they travel into the UK. This is managed by the Internet-based Automatic Light Dues Information System (known as ALDIS). Trinity House manages this strategic operation on behalf of the DfT and the GLAs.
Adapt has been selected to provide the supporting IT infrastructure and ongoing management of ALDIS - a mission-critical responsibility. The revenues raised through ALDIS support the general lighthouse fund (GLF) and are used to provide essential navigational aids. With such a critical system at stake, Trinity House’s infrastructure needs to be highly resilient and robust, with the scale to meet future requirements.
Trinity House selected Adapt’s enterprise Virtual Data Centre (eVDC) platform to assure ongoing resilience and uptime. The platform comprises two data centre sites 70km apart functioning as a single unified platform: a highly secure facility in Woking and a state of the art Tier III specification data centre in Central London.
The solution will provide the GLAs with a highly resilient, protected infrastructure, leaving its team to concentrate on collecting the light dues that keep the operation afloat.
Captain Ian McNaught, Executive Chairman of Trinity House, explained: “Light dues is the primary source of income generated for the provision of aids to navigation. The data being stored on Adapt’s eVDC is mission critical to the running of our operations. Adapt’s proposal was selected as it delivered the most innovative solution and real value for money. Adapt’s data centres are in keeping with our goals of becoming less environmentally impactful – we have reduced our carbon footprint through the virtualisation of our machines without compromising on infrastructure quality.”
Stewart Smythe, CEO at Adapt said: “Working with Trinity House, budget was understandably a key consideration so we needed to deliver an innovative solution that would still deliver enterprise-class service. Moving Trinity House to our eVDC platform ensures the organisation will never be held back by IT and can continue with its vital work in the knowledge that systems and data will remain accessible and highly secure with the ability to scale. We’ve found working with Trinity House very rewarding and a great test of our commercial flexibility – without compromising on service quality.”
About the General Lighthouse Authorities
The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) of the United Kingdom and Ireland are Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Together, they have the statutory responsibility for the provision of marine aids to navigation (AtoN) around the British Isles. The GLAs' joint mission is the delivery of a reliable, efficient and cost effective AtoN service for the benefit and safety of all mariners www.trinityhouse.co.uk, www.nlb.org.uk, www.cil.ie
About light dues
The service provided by the GLAs is financed from 'Light Dues' levied on commercial vessels calling at ports in the British Isles, based on the net registered tonnage of the vessel. The rate is set by the Department of Transport, and annually reviewed. Light Dues are currently charged at 41 pence per net registered ton, subject to a maximum charge of £16,400 per voyage. Vessels are charged for a maximum of nine voyages per annum. Tugs and fishing vessels are liable for annual payments based on the registered length of the vessel.
Light dues are paid in to the General Lighthouse Fund (GLF), which is under the stewardship of the Department for Transport. The fund is used to finance the lighthouse services provided by Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board (responsible for Scotland and the Isle of Man) and the Commissioners of Irish Lights (responsible for the waters around both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). Major initiatives such as lighthouse and light vessel automation and the solarisation of buoys and a growing number of lighthouses have made a significant contribution to the reduction of Light Dues.
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